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in the Mix: News and reviews from Boston's restaurant, nightlife and arts scene

This week: “Pirates of Penzance,” the new, chic Chandler Studios hotel and the French cuisine of Bistro du Midi.

Colette Greenstein | 5/29/2013, 5:32 p.m.
The Chandler Studios, located at 54 Berkeley St. in the South End, celebrated its grand opening on Tuesday, May 30. Pictured above is one of the studio guest rooms in the chic boutique hotel. Photo by Colette Greenstein

“Pirates of the Caribbean” it’s not…

— Always game for a new experience, I recently attended The Hypocrites’ “Pirates of Penzance” at the American Repertory Theatre. The 80-minute adaptation of the classic comic opera by Gilbert and Sullivan was part fun and irreverence with a dash of craziness and an audience sing-a-long thrown in for good measure. There were bathing beauties, pirates and grown men in short shorts roving around the stage and the audience got a kick out of it. Me, not so much. But it’s definitely not your typical pirate fable and the reviews have been good. See it for yourself at the Loeb Drama Center at the A.R.T. now through June 2.

A hidden gem…

In addition to the shops and the fabulous restaurants in the South End, you now have another reason to visit. A hip and new boutique hotel has taken residency over on Berkeley Street right in the heart of the South End, and it’s called The Chandler Studios. It’s a stone’s throw away from some really good restaurants like Aquitaine, Metropolis Café and Stephi’s on Tremont. Set in a lovely brownstone on a picturesque street, the state-of-the-art hotel has a coolness and hip factor to it right down to pops of bold red used in each hotel room and the virtual check-in via keyless entry system. Some of the nice touches to the hotel are the beautiful black and white reproductions of different T stations from the old Orange Line found in each room and in the hallways. With a nod to the past, the images give the rooms a sense of openness and lightness. Once the tour was completed, it was time for some refreshments and a bit of mingling amongst the guests. One of Boston’s best kept secrets is now out of the bag.

Parlez-vous français?

I recently visited Bistro du Midi over on Boylston Street, which is near the Four Seasons Hotel and across the street from the Public Garden. Known for its modern Provençal Cuisine, lunch at the restaurant began with fried artichokes served in a miniature cast-iron pan accompanied by a delicious aioli sauce for dipping. The appetizer was followed by a hearty slice of quiche (made with goat cheese, swiss chard, bacon and black olive), with a spinach salad on the side. Of course, lunch was not complete without a dessert of rhubarb and berry crumble with a light topping of basil ice cream. What a delightful and refreshing combination. Vive la France!

Coming up…

This Friday, May 31 comedian and actor Kevin James brings the funny to the Orpheum Theatre.

On Saturday, June 1 Earth, Wind & Fire return to the Bank of America Pavilion for one show at 8 p.m.

Outkast’s Big Boi brings his “Shoes for Running 2013 World Tour” to the Paradise Rock Club on Wednesday, June 19 at 9 p.m.

The Roxbury International Film Festival and the Boston Jewish Film Festival co-present the screening of “Our Mockingbird” at The Coolidge Corner Theatre on Monday, June 10 at 7 p.m.

The American leg of Bruno Mars’ “The Moonshine Jungle World Tour” comes to the TD Garden on June 26.

If you would like me to cover or write about your event, email me at inthemixwithcolette@gmail.com.